Portsmouth pensioner warned he faces jail for child abuse

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A PENSIONER has been warned he faces a lengthy jail sentence after he was found guilty of a string of sexual offences.

Leo Compton has finally been convicted after he abused a young girl more than 35 years ago.

But the 78-year-old has been given time on bail to arrange care for his wife before he is sentenced in what a judge at Portsmouth Crown Court described as ‘an act of mercy’.

Compton, of King Charles Street, Old Portsmouth, abused the girl, who was under 16, between 1969 and 1976.

He was arrested last year after his victim went to the police.

Compton denied the allegations but he was found guilty by a jury after a six-day trial.

The jury took just over two-and-a-half hours to reach their verdicts.

He was found guilty of two counts of rape, two of indecent assault and two of gross indecency with a child.

Maria Lamb, defending, asked the judge to adjourn sentencing so he could arrange care for his wife.

‘This is not a situation where this lady, who is vulnerable, can manage on her own,’ she said.

The court heard Mrs Compton suffers from dementia and her husband has been her carer for 20 years.

The defendant’s son, Robert Compton, who lives in the Midlands, appeared in court to ask the judge to adjourn sentencing.

‘She is very dependant on my father,’ he said.

‘My concern is there’s no-one in the house if she has a fall. My personal preference would be that he is allowed a couple of weeks so that he can talk to social services and sort something out.’

Judge Sarah Munro QC agreed to bail Compton until November 9.

She said: ‘It’s an unusual situation. This is not a case where people are trying to bury their heads, it really is a case where practical solutions need to be arrived at.’

She told Compton: ‘Out of an act of mercy to your wife I’m going to adjourn sentence.

‘Please understand you can expect nothing less than a lengthy custodial sentence when we meet again.’